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Director; Energy, Policy, and Innovation Center

Closing Date:

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) seeks to fill the Director position (research Faculty rank determined by qualifications and experience) for its Energy, Policy, and Innovation Center EPICenter (see energy.gatech.edu/epicenter-gt).  Candidates with all relevant energy backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including public policy, economics, national security policy, other relevant social sciences, engineering, or natural sciences.   This Director will build the thought leadership footprint and research portfolio of Georgia Tech by promoting engagement of its research expertise with current issues facing society.    

EPICenter is an affiliated center, with its own $15M endowment, of the Strategic Energy Institute at Georgia Tech, which serves as a “systems integrator” for the 300+ faculty working in energy (see energy.gatech.edu).  Georgia Tech has broad and deep expertise across the whole energy value chain, including power generation, renewables, electric grid, transportation, buildings, cybersecurity, smart cities, energy storage, energy geopolitics, energy economics,  energy policy, to name a few. 

Sustaining progress toward low cost, reliable, low carbon energy into the coming decades will present significant challenges.  As the technology and national policy landscape continue to evolve, sources of authoritative, unbiased, fact-based, and systematic analyses, with strong analytical foundations are needed, delivered in a time frame that is helpful to inform these conversations.  Moreover, tackling global grand challenges in climate change and energy cannot be enacted by a “one size fits all” program.  Rather, it requires tailoring to the distinctive energy resource mix, industries, demographics, regulatory framework, and climate of a given region.  EPICenter’s establishment was motivated by these factors, combined with the compelling need to address national/global energy challenges at a regional level. 

The center was established to deploy capabilities across Georgia Tech, particularly its deep strengths in technology and research, toward regional energy issues with national and international impact – in particular, to deploy Georgia Tech’s significant energy research strengths towards current issues facing society, and to guide stakeholders in thinking through complex, coupled social and technological energy issues.  Potential center activities include, but are not limited to:

  • timely, rigorous studies that address southeastern perspectives/roles on global, national and regional energy issues
  • convene conferences and workshops on relevant energy issues, serving as a nonpartisan facilitator for academic, business and nongovernmental stakeholders
  • provide opportunities for information exchange among students, faculty and visiting scholars.
  • support education and workforce development, facilitating collaboration and public-private partnerships within the region, in Washington DC, and with other relevant stakeholders. 

Finally, while contributing regionally, the center strives to leverage its analytical stature to become a national and global leader for regional ecosystem development. 

EPICenter relies on funds from its $15M endowment and annual gifts in executing its mission, but shares support staff with SEI. 

Duties  

  • Lead and administer EPICenter, advancing Georgia Tech’s applied research and engagement with regional governmental and policy bodies by partnering, connecting and promoting collaborations among faculty, other SEI leadership and Georgia Tech organizations, and external entities. 
  • Mentor, develop, and steward EPICenter’s overall strategic direction, fundraising, key initiatives, and human resources.   
  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships with key stakeholders, including academic faculty and research faculty at Georgia Tech, business, government, NGO’s and technology leaders. 
  • Contribute to Georgia Tech serving as a trusted energy R&D organization and source of impartial, fact-based information.  Build the research portfolio and thought leadership footprint of Georgia Tech by promoting engagement of its research expertise with current issues facing society.    
  • Advise the SEI Executive Director and broader Georgia Tech leadership on strategies to leverage EPICenter and its energy ecosystem approach for broader initiatives that fall outside of the southeastern region, including global partnerships and longer term projects.

Skills & Expertise  

  • Experience in developing and executing a vibrant program in areas related to the EPICenter mission, a deep understanding of the energy industry and vision for how to frame and deploy GT’s strengths towards applied and current energy issues. 
  • Energetic, innovative, and entrepreneurial leader, who is able to raise the visibility and profile of Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary activities
  • Be a dynamic oral and written communicator
  • Visionary with capability to formulate and implement a strategic plan. In executing this plan, should be able to develop and execute processes and systems, measurement practices, and metrics reporting which can drive consistent improvement. 
  • Prioritize across numerous potential projects, activities and time horizons and appropriately select activities, delegate and allocate work among staff members
  • Prior experience in conducting research across multiple disciplines and building networks and consortia within a research institution or think tank.
  • Be able to build and expand relationships with federal, state, industry, and foundation partners.  

 

Background  

The successful candidate will have a bachelors, Masters, or PhD in a related field.  Candidates with all relevant energy backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including public policy, economics, political science, other relevant social sciences, engineering, or natural sciences.  The candidate must demonstrate strong expertise in the related field.  Direct or collaborative experience with a research organization or think tank is attractive, as is success in securing external funding related to energy issues in interdisciplinary teams. 

Reporting Relationship  

The Director will report to the Executive Director of SEI.  SEI reports centrally through the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research.  

Nominations and Applications

Nominations and questions can be directed in confidence to Tim Lieuwen, at tim.lieuwen@energy.gatech.edu

Please specifically address the following questions in your cover letter:

(1)   Given Georgia Tech’s stature as an elite technological university, describe your visions for how to run the center that both leverages these advantage, but also extends its capabilities to serving as a leader and trusted adviser in guiding stakeholders through complex, coupled social and technological energy issues?

(2)   Describe your visions for how you would interface with the academic faculty at GT that may be focused on longer range or more fundamental aspects of energy?

(3)   Describe your visions for outreach – what would be the key partners you would engage with?  What would be your strategy for leveraging the center’s endowment to further grow the center?

 

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